Thursday, 6 August 2020

romanes eunt domus

Not to make extra publicity for some conservative propagandist—and thankfully I managed to miss the faux furore of the original googledygook of a machine-summoned up translation that cause the first printing of this vanity publication to be pulped, it is an interesting example of how one ought to manage their expectations of technology and pause to verify, sort of like being forever branded with a nonsensical selection of Chinese glyphs as a tattoo—noting that academic languages are especially prone to error due to their limited sample size.
Caveat scriptor. Taking some poetic license, the author could charitably parse the intended motto as: “Let’s live or [he] passes away from America for the detriment of a free man.” Like one of the commenters, I’m recalled to the corrected anti-Roman slogan “Romani ite domum” that a centurion delivers to the initiate revolutionary in The Life of Brian, ordering him to scrawl out the graffiti in proper (see also here and here) Latin as punishment for his atrocious grammatical error.


Via Memo of the Air (lots to explore in every edition), we are presented with a fanimated episode of SpongeBob Squarepants filtered through the aesthetic of anime.
Illustrator Narmark shared a glimpse of how the characters might look in this style a couple years back but has now set them in action in a full length cartoon.


Via Plain Magazine, we are alerted to conclusion and showcase of superlative snapshots from dotArt Urban 2020 photo awards and exhibition in partnership with Trieste Photo Days.
Shifting through over ten thousand submissions split among different categories—street, people, etc.—the jury has selected a number of finalists to contend for the top prize to be announced in October which will meanwhile be available to peruse on the contest’s online gallery. We especially liked this black-and-white picture of a scene in Prague from the perspective of a bicycle rack from Gabriele Altin, which really evokes the art in the sense of extending flรขnerie. Champion your favourites and find much more to explore at the links above.

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

bittersweet sinfonia

Via the always engaging Things Magazine, we are pleased to make the acquaintance of the phenomena known as the Portsmouth Sinfonia—fifty years too late, the orchestra founded by students of the art school open to all and sundry regardless of training or talent.
Originally staged as a piece of performance art (see also here and here), the dedicated volunteer ensemble—over the ensuing decade—gave concerts and produced six record albums including one charting single and were even invited to perform at the Royal Albert Hall to sold-out crowds. Much more to explore at the links above, including a fun musical medley referred to as the world’s worst playlist.

how are you tree, asked the boy

Via Waxy, we discover the latest instalment in a series by playwright and artist Topher Payne that gives new treatments to beloved but problematic classics of children’s literature, working up an alternative ending to Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree (see previously) which doesn’t seem nearly as entitled and off-putting that’s free to download with your consideration to make a donation to help support the arts and live theatre during the covid-crisis.


nestbox: Czech firm designs a modular trunk extension to turn any car into a camper

kintsugi court: a rundown basketball blacktop restored with the ancient Japanese art that cherishes the cracked

your 2020 bingo card: researchers discover a population of sharks thriving in an undersea volcano

earth science: a treasury of minerals mapped out—via Maps Mania

green tea ice cream: Linda Diaz’ soulful rendition wins the NPR Tiny Desk competition

cosmic architechtonics: multipart exploration of Eastern Bloc monolithic housing estates

lighthouse customer

With quite the opposite reception than the above synonym for an early adopter, the British Office of the Admiralty and Marine Affairs dismissed the recent invention of Sir Francis Ronalds (*1788 – †1873, considered to be the Father of Electrical Engineering and Telegraphy) in which he demonstrated that signals could be transmitted virtually instantaneously over a substantial distance by laying an eight mile length of iron wire in the garden of his mother as a superfluous gimmick on this day in 1816.
Authorities were satisfied with the range and clarity of semaphore-based com- munications, despite Ronalds’ knighthood for his innovation and pontificating: “Why add to the torments of absence [and distance] those dilatory tormentors, pens, ink, paper, and posts? Let us have electrical conversazione offices, communicating with each other all over the kingdom.” The commercialisation of the telegraph was delayed for decades. Coincidentally on this day in 1858, the first transatlantic undersea cable was completed, spanning from Telegraph Field in Foilhommerum Bay on County Kerry’s Iveragh Peninsula (see also) to Heart’s Content station in eastern Newfoundland, under the direction of businessman Cyrus West Field. The first message was transmitted on 16 August.


Though arguably characterising the popular short video montage application as some Trojan Horse infiltrating Americans’ households and siphoning their data to China is a hackneyed red herring with it hitting closer to home with many taking to the platform to insult and ridicule Donald Trump, it is instead worth noting the change in tenor on allowing TikTok to continue to operate within the US from an outright and immediate ban to suiting a quick and slapdash takeover. User data is still collected, presumably pursuant of the same sort of demographic profiling but will graciously be stored on domestic servers and not exported. Though TikTok is Chinese-owned, the app is not available in China. Pressuring the parent company to divest itself of a big part of its business under duress is the stuff of mafia bosses—especially so when Trump thinks that the US government deserves a cut of the sales for having negotiated such a favourable deal.